Monday, January 10, 2011

Why I Don't Tell When I'm Home

I'm back! Sorry for the delay, but I need to get my juices flowing a little to write. Be in the mood, ya know. And one little push was all it took this morning.

So my memory is not horrible and I wish to talk about some of the joys of going home for X-mas, or the holidays, or Christmas and New Years. Honestly I don't care what you call it; I love the holiday. This post will mainly be about me, rather than some thoughts or interesting things I notice at BYU ... but it should still be entertaining.

So my parents still do not know. They know that a year and half ago I told them I thought I was becoming an atheist, and that I've always been a little liberal and rebellious and open-minded when it comes to religion, and that now I never seen that interested in talking about religion with them. So they may suspect it, but I probably am allowing them to enjoy some measure of peace and comfort by not being open with them. I do this for 2 basic reasons:

First, as some of you know, my dad has been diagnosed with dementia, and according to my brother, possibly Alzheimer's. He sometimes exaggerates things but my mom sometimes bends the truth, so either one is possible. In the end, I do not care. My dad is dieing and before he goes he's gonna continue to forget how to speak, where he puts things, how to do manual tasks, and eventually who people are. This is one thing in my life where it would be easier to believe in Mormonism. Just so readers know, this also had nothing to do with my atheism. It concretes me more into agnosticism, but he was never diagnosed with anything until after I stopped believing. Personally, seeing this and knowing how many older adults are like this, it would be something to make me hate God, if he existed. It's so pointless! You don't gain anything from it. I'll stop on this for now, I'm planning on writing about it more in my exit story.

Second, the church has been good for my family. And I've never doubted that. In some ways it hasn't been, but in some large and very important ways it has, and I feel like my parents would be justified in being depressed about me not believing anymore, at least from their point of view.

Third, I'm just chicken. 9 out of 10 times (random stat I know) if someone tells their family it is not a pleasant experience, and sometimes downright bad. A couple people have good stories to tell about 'coming out,' but I don't see that happening with my family. They'd love me, but they would be so sad.

And for all those things I just can't tell them. I've gotten mixed feelings from friends, some saying I should when I'm ready, others saying that it probably wouldn't help. Given all the circumstances, I just don't think I can. It would remove some stress, it would be more true to myself. But I, for once, don't see an injustice in lying to them. Some may disagree with this, but it's where I'm at right now. Also, I secretly hope BYU will find out who I am based on my family situations, that would make them out to be such douches, lol, but it won't happen ... probably.

Anyways, far longer intro than intended, I went home for xmas and eventually my gf came out, also a non-believing postmo. My poor mom kept trying to talk about church stuff. One time we were all in the TV room and she was attempting to talk about the Old Testament (she's a 2nd hour teacher and reads a ton) and we kept 'cleverly' trying to avoid the topic, to the point that she possibly noticed, lol. At other times she would ask my gf about her church callings and going to church, to which she had to confess she was in the middle of nowhere and had been going to church with her grandparents, lol. Ambiguous answer. Needless to say, I fear my mom's suspicions are raised.

Another FFRF billboard.
An interesting event occurred while I was home. We went to another city to walk around downtown and then had dinner with a cousin. Went to a pub where they throw peanuts on the floor, had good burgers. But during the conversation she asked my gf if she was Mormon, expecting an affirmative answer, but my gf was like, " ... uh, well," and in my head I was like, "EEEKKK!" NO ONE in my home area knows, and only a handful of high school buddies knows. And not a single person from my family knows. Eventually we both 'confessed' to being agnostic atheists about the whole thing, explained what that meant for us, and explained some things about being postmos and how we got to where we are. My cousin explained how she was beginning to grow more spiritual due to, you guessed it, a kid. It was an interesting discussion, especially since she didn't take us at our word on some atheistic views and disagreed on other things. Not that it made me change any opinions, but I like having people disagree with me so I can reevaluate some of my views and opinions. After two hours we were done and headed our separate ways. She promised not to tell anyone, and I have to send her some of the books I've read, so I'll probably email her mini synopses about some of them and let her pick the ones she wants.

It was nice having my gf with me, since we rarely get to see each other, but in her words I 'don't flourish at home,' and that whole circumstance worries/annoys me. But I love my family, and I wish I could be more open with them and everyone could be happy. I don't think that those two can coincide very well though. For New Years we hung out with a bunch of Mormons though, played Mormony games instead of Strip Twister, and watched the ball drop, having a 3 second make out to it. Everyone later told me she was a keeper, lol.

Nothing else, off the top of my head, happened regarding things that you would be expected to see on my blog. We watched Jim Jefferies 'I Swear to God' which is hilarious and raunchy, dirty, vulgar, and blasphemous. Panda's are such f****** picky eaters, lol. Me and the gf still need to watch Agora, and I'm getting The Nature of Existence from Netflix here soon. I'll tell everyone if it's any good.

One nice thing is that she flew up on a Sunday so I missed church. On one level it would've been fun to go, on another I'm glad I didn't have to. Yay. Oh, and I had to bless dinner once while she was there. My prayer went something like this:

"Dear God, thank you for this food that people prepared for us, please bless it even though we know it's not poisoned, in the name of Jesus, amen."

On my way home I did have an interesting experience on a plane with a future evangelical missionary and other people discussing religion. But I'll share that later as this post is already pretty lengthy.


  1. Lol, Five Crown and Sequence aren't "Mormony" games! Granted, they're not Strip Twister either, but I know plenty of people who play both of the first games and don't have anything to do with Mormonism...

    You didn't end up going to church the second Sunday either, did you?

    Haha, you make it sound like the 3-second-makeout = keeper. :)

  2. Lol. Not Mormon-exclusive, but those types of games are games Mormons play ... everywhere! Having gone on a mission and playing the dozens of games I've forgotten now there's a 'category' that you can bet tons of Mormons play. Sequence is one. Five Crown not so much in my experience.

  3. I'm curious - what do you mean she didn't take you at your word? As in, you said something like "I don't believe God exists" and she said "Yes you do."?

    I think those responses drive me crazy the most. Someone talked about a famkily member telling them, "deep down you know it's true" ... as if what they are liars or in denial. It's just mean.

  4. Oh yeah! I hate that "deep down you know it's true" thing! My mom said basically the same thing to me the other day. She said that I must have just decided the gospel was too hard and that's why I had stopped believing. That kind of argument is so demeaning. I think mormons just can't accept that someone came to the conclusion that the church isn't true through study and reason. They think that sin and satan are the only way you can be lead astray.

    Oh and Joe this isn't anyone new, this is just Greg. I'm still trying to figure out a cool pseudonym... Benjamin is my top secret temple name. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone!

  5. It gets easier and your life will be better.

  6. Carla - She didn't really say that, but she was against 'atheism' from the start so we reeeaaally had to explain things. It went all good though, nothing upsetting, I like intelligent conversations, more especially if they make me think.

    Benjamin - Oh, I agree with you guys though, but I haven't really received that too much, only a couple times actually. I come off as 'so sure' when I explain myself to TBMs that I think they believe me! Lol.

    General - Thanks. I don't think about my 'problems' much, or rather, I don't dwell on them. But my dad situation is a downer, lol, makes me real sad sometimes. But at least it makes me talk to the family almost everyday. And honestly our relationship has improved a lot.